As the holiday season and the close of yet another year is upon us, I hope it brings a peaceful time to reflect on the dynamics and experiences of 2016. This month’s column is on a topic that I have written on many times and serves as a timeless reminder to all who read it. There are many passages that speak to the statement, “The Customer Is Always Right!”
“Customer Service 101” tells us time and time again that listening is the most important part of any conversation and satisfying the customer is the only acceptable result. Many skills can be taught even though some have an inherent root into one’s personality. Body language and expression, either when in verbal or written format, shape and deliver a message that can be received a variety of ways – right, wrong or confusing.
In the HTM service community, it can be said 70 percent of the job is fixing people and 30 percent is fixing the medical equipment. This measurement has long been a standard when describing the daily work interactions of the HTM service professional. Technology, and all of its advances, has not changed the human interactions that must occur in order to nurture relationships or, in the case of any service event, have successful closure. How do you build relationships with your customers? When in awkward customer situations is your first reaction to listen or speak? The strength of any relationship foundation is formed around listening and understanding. Customers with concerns want to be heard and communicated to in a way that provides a connection and a resolution.
The skill of listening is so much more powerful than any words that can be expressed. As HTM service professionals being “right” can easily be overshadowed when a customer’s concern is ignored or not given the attention and respect the person expects. Listening shows commitment and engagement. Actions resulting through listening to the concern will have greater meaning and are easier for the customer to embrace.
The theme of this month’s column “The Customer is always Right – Right?” is a lesson in futility and a constant evaluation of ourselves as to how we communicate in difficult service event situations and in the successful ones. A satisfied customer tells five of their colleagues. A dissatisfied customer announces it to the world!
On a closing note – I sincerely wish all TechNation readers, followers and colleagues an enjoyable and safe holiday season as well a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.
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